The Cubs (73-64) split a four-game series against the Reds in Cincinnati in which they blew a pair of one-run leads in the 9th inning. They are now three games ahead of a group of four teams for the second Wild Card and remain 3.5 behind the Brewers in the National League Central. They now begin a series with one of the squads chasing them, the San Francisco Giants (70-67), with a Labor Day matinee at Wrigley Field.
The Giants had a rough weekend in San Diego, dropping three of four to the disappointing Padres. The strong suit for Gabe Kapler‘s team is the pitching staff with a 3.97 team ERA, and the bullpen is even more impressive with a 3.74 mark.
Logan Webb is the ace of the staff and is the only starter not to have been injured at some point during the season. San Francisco’s biggest weapon is fire-balling closer Camilo Doval, who has 35 saves and routinely hits 103 mph on the radar gun.
The G-men’s offense has been a much different story. They have a team OPS of .697, a figure that ranks just 24th in baseball, and their 145 home runs rank 21st. Wilmer Flores is having the best offensive year for the Giants with an .880 OPS and a team-high 20 home runs. Former Cub Joc Pederson has not been great in 2023 but he did have eight hits and two home runs against his old team in June.
Chicago won two of three in that series in San Francisco when they were not nearly as strong of a team as they are now. This is going to be another hard-fought series against a group desperately fighting to stay in the playoffs. In fact, three of the next four series are against teams right next to the Cubs in the standings.
If they hold their own here, they will be in very good shape in the race. David Ross and company are still very much in control of their playoff destiny, let’s see if they can maintain it this week at a raucous Wrigley.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, September 4 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
- Tuesday, September 5 at 6:40pm CT on TBS and Marquee.
- Wednesday, September 6 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee.
What to Watch For
- Cody Bellinger had seven hits, seven RBI, and three home runs against the Reds.
- Mike Tauchman had a four-knock game Sunday after struggling for over a month.
- Wicks will be making his first career start at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.
- Adbert Alzolay has blown his last two save opportunities after converting 21 of his first 22 chances and did not pitch Saturday or Sunday.